A custom voice assistant platform for blind and visually impaired people

(completely in style I’ve AI dubbed this Dutch video to an English version. It’s well done, but at moments very bad)

Visio Voice Assistant
At VisioLab, the innovation department at Visio.org, an organisation for blind and visually impaired people in The Netherlands, we are working on a voice assistant platform based on OVOS & Hivemind. We call it the Visio Voice assistant. Our goal is to support our clients & students with specific voice services from Visio. And next to that, give people the opportunity to use a privacy focused device in their homes for all kinds of daily tasks.

In a project called VoiceLab (3 years, until the end of this year) we are researching and experimenting also with everything voice: trying out all of the voice assistants out there, keeping up with all of the voice/ conversational related AI developments (new voices, speech recognition, LLMs etc), making new skills, trying to make the world more accessible for everyone with conversational AI.

In year 2 of VoiceLab (beginning of 2023) I’ve came across Mycroft (Mark II) and later OVOS and really liked the modular approach of the assistant. I’ve went and see how I could make prototypes/proof of concepts of early ‘Visio voice apps’ to proof the benefits and also check out the underlying techniques. It was the start of a very interesting journey that is still ongoing :smile:

In the following playlist you can see some of the stuff I’ve made / tried/ experimented with.

One of the nicest things that illustrates also the possibilities of OVOS was a voice game for people with visual and mental disabilities I could breath life again in (previously made for Google Home), but now with extra features: GUI for extra information (for visually impaired people but also caretakers), but mainly also physical buttons to start the game, answer the Yes / No questions.

The community of OVOS and Neon was very helpful from of the beginning! Not only the software is open, but the people are also. Thanks for that! Without the endless support of the usual suspects :wink: on the Matrix channels, I wouldn’t have come so far! With our project we also like to contribute back to the community to make OVOS better for everyone. Everything we do is openly shared and where possible we sponsor roadmap activities.


Thank you for sharing your work with VoiceLab and Visio.org, and including so many video clips - I can see what you are saying about staying on top of all the voice tech that’s available. Checking out the website, I’m enchanted by Visio’s Sensemath app - what a brilliant idea!

I’m glad that you’ve found our work and that of OVOS helpful, if there’s more we can do to support you in this community please let me know. For example, I would be happy to add VoiceLab or Visio.org to our Community Projects page if you would find it useful to have a dedicated community space here.

Also, when setting up this forum in its new home I enabled all the accessibility features that I saw in the admin panel. A quick Google search suggests that changing some of the “home” or default display settings could be helpful. Discourse now allows the landing page and menus to be customized by an admin for users within a particular group. This is in addition to the customizations users can choose for themselves. If it would be helpful, I would be happy to create an open group those using screen readers could join, and set it up for easier use of the forum under someone’s guidance.

This subject is near to my heart, as I have two partially sighted friends, and I know we have blind users. I look forward to the time when Neon AI is fully and easily useable without sight, on the Mark II and future platforms.

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